How to Prep For A Skype Interview

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May 11, 2017 by Kathryn Kuttis


As June approaches, students will increasingly connect with employers about internships and work opportunities.. Many will have a video job interview. For hiring managers, it’s a quick and inexpensive way to get to know an applicant beyond their resume.

In this article from USA Today, Alexandra Whittaker offers 13 tips for how to give your best video interview. She suggests that you test your technology, look at the camera not the screen and consider your surroundings before the interview.

My favorite suggestion in her article is #12: “Make sure the interviewer is engaged.” If you’re nervous you might be tempted to speak in long sentences that will lose your interviewer’s attention. Don’t give all of the information you have in your first breath. Allow room for the interviewer to ask questions.

Since the screen interview isn’t happening in person, it’s hard to read body language. A long pause can give the interviewer a chance to digest what you’ve said and ask a question. If they participate in the interview you can know exactly what they want to know more about before you continue.

Another way to facilitate your conversation is to know what you are going to say before you get started. Henry Kissinger has a great line that is often quoted by PR professionals . At the start of a press conference he once asked, “Does anyone have any questions for my answers?” Brilliant.

Be prepared. Decide on three things you want them to know about you. Write them down and tape it to your computer at eye-level. Hopefully your three points will show your most relevant qualifications for the position.

For example, if you are talking to a PR agency you could mention your work with AHPR. Remember to account for the “curse of knowledge” that we learned about in Made To Stick. It could sounds something like this:

Employer: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

You: Yes. I think my experience as an account executive with Allen Hall Public Relations is relevant. It’s a student-run agency at the SOJC with about 70 clients from the local community. Students apply and go through an interview process to get hired.

Employer: Oh, you work with real clients?

You: Yes. We work in account teams of four or five students to help nonprofits raise awareness with clients and potential donors.

Employer: What kind of work do you do for them?

You: For client X, a XX we conduct research and use it to develop messages for social media and media relations. I’ve learned about account management and deadlines. We also meet weekly for trainings and industry guest speakers.

Employer: What speakers have you heard from?

You: Last week Sean Spicer came in to talk with us about media training.

There are lots of articles that give tips on how to interview but only you can decided what you want your potential employer to know about you. Give it some thought and then write down three concrete examples that demonstrate your experience. You’ll be better prepared to represent yourself and calmer since you already know all the answers.

Here are your blog kernels for this week:

How to nail your next media interview (PRDaily)

This is where new graduates can do the impossible: Find a home and a well-paid job (Marketwatch)

Something is breaking American politics, but it’s not social media (Vox)

The United Debacle Shows What Business Schools Are Missing (Fortune)

Everything You Need to Know About the Met Gala 2017 (NYTimes)

Aw Snap: Snapchat parent company’s value plummets after earnings report (Guardian)

Betsy DeVos Booed at Historically Black College (Atlantic)

Comey Firing ‘Worse Than Watergate,’ Says Former White House Ethics Lawyer (RollingStone)

College grads: Don’t delay getting financial house in order (ChicagoTribune)

Thought leadership: What it is and how you can attain it (Ragan)

Anderson Cooper eyerolled his way to an iconic GIF while interviewing Kellyanne Conway (WashPost)

New Amazon Building In Seattle Will Include A Homeless Shelter (NPR)


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If you share an interest in public relations, media and visual design, this might be a good place for you to hang out. I started this blog to exchange ideas with my students at the University of Oregon. They keep me (and maybe you too) at the forefront of social media, visual communication and career development. Here you'll find our best ideas, links and learning as we write, create and blog our way through a course on Strategic PR Communication.

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